The MERL, as it is known in-game, is the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System. It is a highly-mobile self-propelled armored rocket launcher, a type of rocket artillery.
- Unit Type: Artillery
- Availability: US factions
- Cost: $40,000
- Anti-Infantry Attack: 18
- Anti-Vehicle Attack: 13
- Anti-Aircraft Attack: 0
- Defense Rating: 4
- Hit Points: 20
- Collateral Damage: 19
- Sight Range: 1
- Target Range: 5
- Movement Range per turn: 5
- Fuel Supply: 40
The MERL is an excellent artillery system, offering the capability to deliver rocket artillery fire at as long a range as any other artillery piece in the game. It has good mobility, but its hit points do it precious little good with a defense rating of 4. The armor it is equipped with is too thin to stand up to any kind of significant enemy fire. If attacked up close, especially by enemy tanks or helicopters, the MERL will be swiftly destroyed. It must be kept well to the rear of the combat zone if it is to survive.
The MERL is not an independent weapons platform. Its low sight range means it absolutely must have other units around to spot targets for it, and its thin armor means it depends heavily on other units for protection. The MERL is essentially incapable of surviving if caught up close in a firefight, and must be well-protected at all times.
Additionally, its collateral damage rating- 19, more than four times that of a typical Heavy Armor unit like the Abrams- means that the MERL can cause horrific unintended damage of its rockets are fired into populated areas. The MERL is meant for firing on targets in open country, where the shrapnel from its "steel rain" will not be at risk of killing civilians en masse. Overall, the MERL is a powerful but vulnerable artillery system, offering considerable firepower but requiring a great deal of protection and support.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- What MERL stands for is unkown. MLRS should have been the unit's designation, standing for Multiple Launch Rocket System, the official name for the vehicle in addition to its model designation, M270.
- The MERL is one of two rocket artillery units in the game, the other being the Russian SMERCH.
- The MERL has the third-highest collateral damage rating in the game, after the FCS Grant at 20 and the SMERCH at 30.
- The M270 MLRS was in service with multiple European Union members in 2005: Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Finland, and Greece. It is featured in the game as only being available to American factions, but it should have been fully available to the European Union faction as well.